The Great Terror raging in the USSR in the second half of the thirties resulted in destruction of many lives. The wave of repression created and directed by Joseph Stalin affected not only the “counter – revolutionary” and “anti-Soviet” elements, but also members of the Communist Party, the security apparatus, and finally, the Soviet national minorities. A particular blow Stalin stroke on Poles, who lived in Belarus, Ukraine, numerous cities in Russia and Siberia. As a result of repression over one hundred thousand people of Polish nationality lost their lives.
Another volume of the joint Polish-Ukrainian series “Poland and Ukraine in the thirties - forties of the twentieth century. Unknown documents from the archives of the special services” is dedicated to the so-called Polish Operation, carried out by the Soviet security apparatus in USSR in the years 1937-1938.
The published documents reveal anti-Polish actions conducted under the rule of the people's commissioners of the Interior of Ukraine: Wsiewołod Balicki, Izraił Leplewski and Aleksandr Uspienski in the years 1935-1939. The actions, which actually turned into ethnic cleansing. As it is confirmed by the archival sources, then there was no sphere of people’s life, in which the Soviet secret police were not searching for so-called “Polish agents”.
The publication consists of two parts. The first contains 97 documents from the archives of the Ukrainian Security Service. They concern e.g. the Soviet security apparatus action against so-called Polish espionage, it means the presumed and actual actions of the II Division of the General Staff of the Polish Army in Soviet Ukraine; deportations of Poles and Germans, who lived close to the border to Kazakhstan and actions within so-called Polish Operation. Among the documents published in the first part is worth noting, inter alia, the case of Stefan Kasperski aka Albert Ran, a full-time officer of the II Department of the General Staff, who under the cover of the Polish Foreign Ministry employee led the intelligence activities in USSR. Arrested by the Soviet military counter-intelligence was repeatedly interrogated, and after more than two months, he was exchanged for an USSR embassy employee in Warsaw arrested in Poland on charges of spying for the Soviet Union..
The second part contains 106 documents from the archive of the Security Service of Ukraine. The reader can find here inter alia: statistical lists, reports, agents’ reports and other materials about “Polish Operation” from 1938 and actions against so-called Polish espionage in 1939.
The publication has a chronological order. The book also include a DVD containing copies of the original reports, found in the archive of the Security Service of Ukraine. The reports are supplemented by detailed statistical lists concerning victimized persons.